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Constant Gardeners: An Impact Assessment of Permagardens in Karamoja, Uganda - A Climate Smart Agriculture Approach

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Evaluations and Research

This report from BRACED (Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters) presents the results of an impact assessment of the program's permagarden activities in Karamoja, Uganda. The objective of the study was to assess the impact of the permagardens in terms of production, utilization and knowledge transfers. The assessment was carried out in May 2017, roughly 3 months after the program began establishing permagardens, and during the hunger period which runs from January to June (FAO 2010). The study results are encouraging as they show high uptake and application of the permagarden techniques being promoted by the program. Study participants also found the program's permagarden training to be useful giving it a median score of 9 out of a maximum possible score of 10. The results also show that the permagardens have provided participating households with food security, income and savings benefits that have enabled them to better cope with climate shocks and stresses.

BRACED is a three year DFID funded initiative designed to build the resilience capacities of vulnerable people to prepare for, cope with and recover from climate related shocks and stresses. The Program for Resilient Systems (PROGRESS) is a sub component of BRACED being implemented by Mercy Corps and partners in Wajir County in Kenya and in the Karamajo sub region of Uganda. PROGRESS focuses on natural resource management (NRM), financial inclusion, market linkages, governance and gender. Under the PROGRESS NRM component in Karamoja, the program ahs been supporting the promotion of climate smart agriculture including Resilience Design in Smallholder Farming Systems, permagardens and sack mound gardens. These agricultural techniques are particularly well suited to semi-arid regions, like Karamoja, and incorporate the principles of agro ecology, conservation agriculture and elements of permaculture. These approaches focus on improving soil health and water and land utilization by building the capacity of farmers to design and maintain more resilient farms (TOPS, 2017).